I spent about four days in Montreal with my little cousin. We thought the weather would be manageable since we went in the beginning of April but it was f r e e z i n g. That being said, Montreal is a really cool city and a definite must see. Just plan your trip for the summer!
Montreal has a European feeling, especially with the population speaking French. I used duolingo for a couple of weeks before I left but I didn’t take it seriously and my French really suffered. I could hardly say ‘I don’t speak French’. The locals really appreciate when you try out the language but most people are very accommodating an speak English as well.
There is a lot to do in Montreal. The Old Port was my favorite section. The most trendy restaurants were in this area along with great boutiques and bars. In the summer there are a lot of music festivals in this area.
Montreal is known for having an incredible night life. Since I was traveling with my young cousin we didn’t experience it but it is important to note. A lot of people told us about a club that was converted from a bank and some cool speak easies in the old port.
In the short time we were there we tried to do a lot and we definitely ate a lot.
Things to do in Montreal
Notre Dame Basilica
This cathedral is absolutely breath taking. The cathedral is located in the historic Old Montreal and has been open since 1830.
We stayed at Le Germain Hotel. It was close to McGill University and in the newer section of Montreal. There was a lot of great shopping here but most of it was stores you can visit anywhere. We did some shopping here but I prefer more unique shops which were located in the Old Port.
Quebec City Tour
I scheduled a bus tour from Montreal to Quebec City through trip advisor. Bus tours are a great way to see and learn more. The bus ride was about three hours to Quebec City but well worth it.
Quebec City was once a trading post turned into the cutest French- Canadian city ever. It is about fifteen degrees colder than Montreal so keep that in mind when you’re planning your trip.
A tour guide is provided and takes you around the most historic parts of Quebec City and describes the interesting history. Before this trip I knew next to nothing about Quebec City and I am glad I took the time to learn.
Afterwards we got back onto the bus and visited Montmorency Falls. It is a huge waterfall.
It was absolutely beautiful and this is one of the rare moments I was glad we went to Canada in the beginning of April because the falls were snow.
After the trip to the falls we rode around in the bus while the tour guide pointed out more historic parts of Quebec City and areas that tourists enjoy. We had three hours of free time following that. We sat down for some lunch then made sure to go to a Chocolatier because Quebec City’s larges export is chocolate. There are some interesting boutiques in Quebec City too.
One last must-see in Quebec City is the Château Frontenac.
This hotel is absolutely gorgeous. They have art galleries inside that exhibit art from famous artists like Salvador Dali.
Near the Olympic stadium there are Botanical Gardens. During this time of the year they have butterfly exhibit. Bring your student ID for a discount!
People were giving us mixed reviews of the exhibit but we decided to go and see for ourselves. First, you walk through a couple of different greenhouses. There are tropical rooms and desert rooms. I thought it was absolutely beautiful but I am a person who is into nature so if you’re not it could be considered boring.
Finally you walk into a room where the butterflies are just flying around free. We went during the point of the season that the butterflies are full grown.
I honestly thought it was one of the most magical places ever. I was at a loss for words there were so many butterflies, they were mesmerizing. I loved this exhibit I definitely recommend it.
The Best Places I ate
Venice is a great place for lunch. It has a California beach vibe and menu. They have poke bowls, burritos, and tacos. I had the tacos, they were really good and their guacamole was super tasty.
This was my favorite restaurant we visited. It is perfect for breakfast, lunch or my favorite (because I’m basic) brunch. The aesthetic is really cool and different there is graffiti on the walls an a motorcycle hanging from the ceiling – a lot of bikes on walls in Montreal.
I order the eggs Benedict which was arguable the best eggs Benedict I’ve ever had.
There was braised pork under the egg and it was so good I swear I still have dreams about this meal.
Shô Dan is a nice sushi restaurant. They have really interesting sushi rolls and good basic sushi. It was right around the corner from our hotel and was the perfect spot to satisfy our cravings. It is a little on on the more expensive side though.
It was pouring during one of the days we were staying in Montreal. We looked up things to do in the rain in Montreal and there are all of these chocolate bars to visit. We stopped in here for some hot chocolate and fondue.
Jellyfish was by far the trendiest restaurant we visited during our stay. It has a great aesthetic with an open feel, exposed brick, and a contemporary look blended with some antique pieces. The food was really good and so were the cocktails.
For our last night we decided to ball out on a really nice dinner. We went to XO at the St. James hotel. There weren’t that many people there for a Friday night. I thought the food was delicious but some people criticize it saying that it is too pretentious. The aesthetic was really cool and we wanted to go somewhere that we could dress up a little so it was great for that.
Overall, the trip to Montreal was great. And I would definitely love to go back!